USDA strengthens trade linkages with Georgia via science-based research (June 29)

USDA strengthens trade linkages with Georgia via science-based research (June 29)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues fostering collaboration and networking through its Borlaug Fellowship Program to improve agricultural productivity and trade through science-based research.  Maia Metreveli, a researcher at the Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center and head of the Risk Assessment Division at the Scientific Research Center of Agriculture (SRCA) under the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia is the first person from Georgia to participate in the USDA Norman E. Borlaug Fellowship Program.

Ms. Metreveli began her program in early May 2018 at the University of Georgia in Athens working with a U.S. mentor who serves as a food safety extension specialist in the Poultry Science Department and with a second mentor who specializes in poultry processing methods and microbiology.  She is learning research and disease surveillance methodologies and is improving her laboratory research skills to identify and study the specific pathogens.  She will also study best practices in food safety and how they implemented at poultry farms in the U.S.  With this knowledge, Ms. Metreveli will return home to Georgia ready to make her country a safer place and more attractive to investment and economic development.

This is the first example of USDA’s support for capacity building and institutional development of the risk assessment division at SRCA in order to comply with international standards under the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary (WTO SPS) Agreement, which is also an important chapter of the Ministry’s strategy implementation action plan 2015-2020.  The USDA’s Borlaug Fellowship Program promotes food security and economic growth by increasing scientific knowledge and research to improve agricultural productivity, economic development, food security, and trade.